|Vass (vass) wrote,|
@ 2013-01-06 12:54 am UTC
|Entry tags:||feminism: street harassment|
Yesterday I got drive-by yelled at. I couldn't hear what they were yelling, but I know from the tone that it wasn't "Good on you for enjoying the night air and getting some wholesome exercise and working on your fear of leaving the house and being exposed to other humans!" (n.b. It wouldn't have been okay if that was what they yelled - a forced one-way interaction when I'm obviously not up for one is still just that even if it's meant kindly.)
Tonight I got drive-by yelled at again. I missed the first word (I think it was 'bloody') but I caught the second. It was 'cow'. (Can I please reiterate that I was walking on the footpath with my earphones on, and not hurting anyone or getting in anyone's way, I was just existing in public while fat and female and unaccompanied by a man?)
The reason I'm posting about this is that when I discuss it with people who haven't experienced it, they still express doubt that this happens. Even when it happens to me, I still automatically doubt myself: "are they really yelling at me? Yes, there's no one else on this street, and they didn't start until they passed me" and try to make excuses for them: "they're drunk. And that makes it okay? They don't know I'm socially anxious. No, but they know it's unwelcome. You're oversensitive. Fuck that, this is not acceptable behaviour on their part."
I think what's worst about it is that it's completely one-way: they say their piece and drive off before I can respond in any way, and just leave me to deal with it, and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it, in advance or after the fact. It makes me feel so helpless. It's the same feeling I get about that unspeakable bastard who has twice in the last two weeks left a weight loss flyer in my mailbox (the one with the "no junk mail" sign.) The flyer leads to one of those multilevel marketing scam websites, with no way to contact the specific subcontractor who's leaving the flyers, but because he's a subcontractor I can't go after the company themselves, they completely disclaim responsibility. So I have no recourse at all. It's triggering, the information on the flyer is fraudulent and dangerous, leaving it in a "no junk mail" mailbox is actually illegal, but I am helpless. And I hate being helpless. It makes me want to detonate the planet.